The Black Mirror Dreaming – A Collision of Realities - Troubled Minds Radio
Sat Feb 24, 2024

The Black Mirror Dreaming – A Collision of Realities

In our mystical voyage through the vast tapestry of our hyper-connected world, we find ourselves surrounded by a ubiquitous presence: the cell phone. These enchanted devices have become inseparable companions, ingrained within the fabric of our waking reality. From the moment we awaken, we reach out to grasp their enchanting allure, and as we surrender to slumber, they slip away from our grasp. Curiously, these marvels of modernity seldom venture into the realm of our dreams, evoking a profound paradox. Why, then, do these essences of our daily existence so rarely permeate the ethereal landscapes of our nocturnal visions?

Let us embark upon a sacred quest to unravel this enigma, delving deep into the recesses of our consciousness. We shall explore the multifaceted nature of this phenomenon, drawing upon the wisdom of psychology, philosophy, and esoteric knowledge. Within our sacred exploration, we shall place special emphasis on the notion of cell phones as contemporary scrying tools, drawing parallels between the ancient art of divination and our present-day technological marvels. Through traversing these intertwining paths of inquiry, we aspire to illuminate the enigmatic connection between our digital companions and the realm of dreams.

Yet, we must tread mindfully on this mystical pilgrimage, for the subjective nature of consciousness and dreams demands an open heart and a receptive mind. Our journey into the realm of speculation invites us to engage in profound contemplation and spirited discourse. Together, let us venture forth into the boundless expanse of our collective consciousness, seeking to unravel the secrets that lie beneath the surface of this captivating conundrum.

Cognitive dissonance, a term coined by social psychologist Leon Festinger, refers to the psychological stress experienced when we hold two or more contradictory beliefs, values, or perceptions simultaneously. In the context of our dream lives, one could argue that cell phones represent a form of cognitive dissonance.

In our waking lives, cell phones are tools for external communication and social connection. They allow us to reach outwards, to engage with the world beyond our immediate surroundings. Dreams, on the other hand, are inherently introspective and internal. They are our minds’ way of processing emotions, memories, and subconscious thoughts without the intrusion of external input.

The cognitive dissonance arises from the conflict between these inward and outward orientations. The intimate, personal realm of dreams may resist the intrusion of a device that symbolizes external, social engagement. This resistance might manifest as an absence of cell phones in our dream landscapes.

This theory aligns with the idea that our dreams reflect our innermost selves, unfiltered by the expectations and norms of social interaction. Cell phones, as tools that facilitate these interactions, may therefore seem out of place in the dream world, resulting in their scarce presence.

Our dreams often seem to draw more heavily on our distant memories than our recent experiences. This is a phenomenon that has been noted in various dream studies, with a term coined for it: “the dream-lag effect.” This effect refers to the tendency for images from events 5-7 days ago to crop up in dreams, but also a secondary spike in dream references to events about 2 weeks ago.

Cell phones, despite their current ubiquity, are a relatively recent invention. If we consider the span of a human life, most adults have lived a significant portion of their lives without the pervasive presence of smartphones. As such, the deeper wells of memory that our dreams dip into might not contain many instances of cell phone use.

Furthermore, the dream-lag effect might also play a role here. The daily, habitual use of cell phones could lead to a kind of ‘recency bias’ in our conscious minds. Yet, our dreams, operating on a different timetable, might not integrate these experiences as readily. This delay might contribute to the seeming absence of cell phones in our dreams, as the experiences most likely to feature cell phones are those of the recent past, not the distant past that dreams often draw from.

Dreams are not simply a replay of our daily events; they often involve deep emotional experiences. It’s believed that one of the functions of dreaming is emotional processing, where the brain works through emotions and experiences that we encounter in our waking lives. Dreams tend to incorporate experiences and memories that have strong emotional significance.

Cell phones, on the other hand, are primarily tools. While they facilitate communication and access to information, they are not inherently emotional objects. The messages and interactions they facilitate may have emotional content, but the devices themselves are neutral. As such, they may not incite strong enough emotions to frequently appear in our dreams.

Furthermore, the emotions most often associated with cell phones, such as frustration or distraction, may not be the types of strong, primary emotions that our dreams typically engage with. The lack of emotional resonance might therefore contribute to the infrequent appearance of cell phones in our dreams.

In this light, the absence of cell phones in our dreams may say more about the nature of dreams themselves than about our relationship with technology. Dreams seem to prioritize emotional resonance over factual accuracy or recency of events. As a result, our dreams might be more likely to include emotionally charged memories from our distant past than mundane, recent interactions with our cell phones.

From a philosophical perspective, dreams can be seen as the ultimate expression of our innate, primal selves. They are a realm where our unfiltered thoughts, fears, desires, and memories can play out without the constraints of societal norms or logical consistency. In this sense, dreams are a deeply human experience, rooted in our biological and psychological makeup.

Cell phones, as products of modern technology, symbolize a different aspect of human experience. They represent our capacity for innovation, progress, and mastery over the natural world. However, they also symbolize the ways in which technology can alienate us from our own nature. Through constant connectivity, they can distract us from introspection and direct, sensory engagement with the world around us.

In this light, the absence of cell phones in our dreams could be interpreted as a subconscious rejection of this technological alienation. Our dreams could be preserving a space for us to reconnect with our primal, instinctual selves, unmediated by technology. The dream world, in this view, is a sanctuary where we can return to a state of being that is more in tune with our natural instincts and less influenced by the trappings of modern life.

In our dreams, we often find ourselves immersed in environments rich with sensory detail. We feel the warmth of the sun, hear the rush of a nearby stream, or smell the scent of blooming flowers. Dreams often engage our senses in a direct and immediate way, creating a vivid sense of reality.

Cell phones, however, mediate our interactions with the world in a fundamentally different way. They convert our communications into abstract symbols and images, which we interpret through a screen. While this allows us to connect with others across vast distances, it also creates a layer of abstraction between us and our experiences.

It could be that our dreams, in their pursuit of sensory richness and immediacy, find little use for the abstract symbols and mediated experiences that cell phones provide. In a dream, why read a text message when you can converse directly with the sender? Why view a picture on a screen when you can witness the scene firsthand?

This could be another reason why cell phones seldom appear in our dreams. The abstract, symbolic nature of digital communication might simply not translate well into the vivid, sensory world of dreams. As a result, our subconscious minds might choose to bypass these mediated experiences in favor of more direct forms of interaction and perception.

Scrying is an ancient practice of divination that involves gazing into a reflective surface, like a pool of water, a mirror, or a crystal ball, to gain hidden knowledge or insights. This form of divination has been used by numerous cultures throughout history, from the ancient Egyptians and Greeks to the Celtic Druids and beyond. The scrying medium serves as a kind of portal, a doorway into the unseen realms of the subconscious, the future, or the spirit world.

In many ways, the act of scrying resembles our modern interaction with cell phones. We gaze into the reflective surface of the screen, seeking information and insights that are not immediately present in our surroundings. The information we access through our phones, much like the insights sought in scrying, can seem to come from an unseen realm, a digital ether that exists beyond our immediate sensory perception.

This conceptual parallel between scrying and cell phone use invites us to explore the possibility that our subconscious minds recognize this similarity and respond to it in our dream lives.

In the context of our modern world, cell phones could be seen as our personal scrying devices. We gaze into their screens, not for divine revelation, but for information, communication, and connection. We scroll through social media feeds, read news articles, send messages, and conduct searches with a few taps on the screen. In a sense, these screens have become our portals to the vast world of information and communication that lies beyond our immediate physical environment.

If we extend this analogy, we could view the information we access on our phones as a kind of digital divination. We “scry” into our screens to learn about the world, to connect with others, and to navigate our lives. This perspective casts cell phones in a new light, framing them as tools of insight and knowledge rather than mere communication devices.

But this raises a question: If our subconscious minds recognize cell phones as modern scrying tools, why don’t they appear more often in our dreams? The answer may lie in the unique nature of the dream realm and its relationship with divination practices like scrying.

The subconscious mind, the driving force behind our dreams, is often thought to be more in tune with symbolic meanings and abstract concepts than the conscious mind. If we accept the idea that our subconscious minds may perceive cell phones as modern scrying tools, it could offer an explanation for their rare appearances in our dreams.

In many cultural and spiritual traditions, the act of scrying is a sacred practice, a means of accessing divine knowledge or glimpses of the future. It’s a bridge between the physical world we inhabit and the unseen realms of the divine or the future. Similarly, dreams have been regarded as messages from the divine, insights into the future, or journeys into the subconscious mind.

If our subconscious minds view cell phones as scrying tools, they might also recognize that these devices serve a similar purpose to dreams themselves—they offer a window into the unseen, whether that’s the thoughts and feelings of others, events happening around the world, or the vast repositories of human knowledge.

Given this overlap, our subconscious minds might exclude cell phones from our dreams to maintain the sanctity of the dream space. In this view, dreams are a place for unmediated exploration of the subconscious, the future, or the divine. The inclusion of a cell phone—a symbolic equivalent of a scrying tool—might be seen as redundant or intrusive, resulting in their notable absence from our dreamscapes.

The concept of cell phones as modern scrying tools brings us to an interesting intersection of realms—the mystical and the practical. While cell phones serve a very practical purpose in our daily lives, conceptualizing them as scrying tools imbues them with a mystical, almost esoteric quality. This leads us to consider how the absence of cell phones in our dreams might be an attempt to maintain a clear boundary between these realms.

Dreams, in many traditions, are seen as a sacred space, a realm where we can access wisdom, insight, and healing that our waking minds cannot. They provide a bridge to the mystical, a portal to the subconscious, and a gateway to the spiritual. They are a space where we can experience reality beyond the constraints of the physical world.

In contrast, cell phones, despite their potential role as scrying tools, are firmly rooted in the practical realm. They are tools of communication, information, and navigation in our physical world. They tether us to our daily lives, connecting us to the here and now.

The absence of cell phones in our dreams could, therefore, be seen as a subconscious effort to preserve the sanctity of the dream space. By excluding these practical tools from our dreams, our subconscious might be maintaining a clear boundary between the mystical realm of dreams and the practical realm of waking life. This separation could serve to protect the unique insights and experiences that each realm offers, preserving the integrity and value of both.

As we’ve explored tonight, the absence of cell phones in our dreams can be considered from multiple angles. Each perspective—psychological, philosophical, and esoteric—offers a unique lens through which to view this intriguing phenomenon.

From the psychological perspective, the absence of cell phones in our dreams can be seen as a reflection of cognitive dissonance, the nature of memory in dreams, and the role of emotion in our dream content.

The philosophical perspective invites us to consider the ways in which our dreams may be pushing back against the alienation of technology and the unreality of virtual interaction.

Finally, the esoteric perspective offers a novel way to view our relationship with cell phones, conceptualizing them as modern scrying devices and exploring the implications of this role in our dream lives.

While these perspectives differ in their approaches and interpretations, they all point to the same intriguing paradox: despite their pervasive presence in our waking lives, cell phones rarely feature in our dreams. This convergence suggests that there might be a deeper, unifying principle at work, a principle that could help us better understand the complex relationship between our waking lives and our dreamscapes.

One possible unifying principle is the idea of dreams as a space for the expression of our inner selves. Whether we’re considering cognitive dissonance, the nature of memory, the role of emotion, the pushback against technological alienation, or the sanctity of the dream realm, each perspective touches on the notion that our dreams serve to express aspects of ourselves that are less apparent or less engaged in our waking lives.

Dreams, in this view, are a platform for our subconscious minds to process emotions, grapple with memories, and explore our deepest fears and desires without the constraints of reality or the distractions of daily life. They offer a direct line to our inner selves, unmediated by technology or societal expectations.

Cell phones, despite their many uses and their role as potential scrying devices, may be absent from our dreams because they don’t serve this function. They are tools for external communication and information gathering, not vehicles for introspection or self-expression.

In this light, the absence of cell phones in our dreams could be seen as a testament to the power and resilience of our inner selves. Despite the ever-increasing pace of technological advancement and the growing pervasiveness of digital communication, our dreams remain a space where we can connect with our innermost thoughts, feelings, and experiences. This principle of inner self expression, then, could serve as a unifying explanation for the curious absence of cell phones in our dreams.

When considering cell phones and dreams as different kinds of portals, it presents an intriguing conceptual framework.

A cell phone, in this context, is a portal to the external world. It provides access to a vast range of information, people, and experiences that lie beyond our immediate surroundings. It’s a gateway to the digital ether, a realm of abstract symbols and mediated interactions that extends beyond our physical reality.

Dreams, on the other hand, are a portal to our internal world, specifically to our subconscious or “shadow” selves. The term “shadow” here is borrowed from Carl Jung’s concept of the shadow self, which refers to the unconscious aspects of our personality that we don’t consciously identify with. These may include repressed desires, denied aspects of self, or unacknowledged fears. Dreams provide a space where these hidden aspects of ourselves can surface and play out in symbolic narratives.

When these two types of portals—the cell phone and the dream—collide, it creates an interesting dynamic.

One possibility is that the collision results in a blending of the internal and external, the personal and the impersonal. This could manifest in dreams as scenarios where our innermost thoughts and feelings are displayed on a cell phone screen, or where the information we access through our phones deeply resonates with our subconscious feelings or experiences.

Another possibility is that the collision creates a kind of cognitive or spiritual dissonance. Our dreams might resist the inclusion of cell phones because it disrupts the sanctity of the dream space, a space traditionally reserved for introspection and self-expression.

Yet another possibility is that the collision of these portals opens up new avenues for self-understanding and growth. For example, the presence of a cell phone in a dream could symbolize the need for communication or connection with a repressed aspect of the self.

Overall, the collision of these portals—cell phones and dreams—creates a rich tapestry of possibilities for self-exploration and understanding. It invites us to engage with our dreams in new ways, deepening our understanding of our relationship with both technology and our subconscious selves.